I had an appointment with a urologist yesterday, and heard those four dreaded words: "We found a lump." Apparently, there's a lump in one of my boys (sorry, Lefty...it's you). So the Doc said let’s schedule an appointment for an ultrasound. I took out my planner and flipped forward two weeks, and he said, “NO. I mean, right away.” So he said he would write out a scrip and have his nurse schedule the appointment.
I walked out and the nurse is making the call, saying, “I need to get him in right away. Like now. Twelve o’clock?” She looks at me, I look at my watch (it’s 11:00) and my planner and nod. “Yes,” she says. My antenna is all the way up at this point—things are moving very fast, and we’re talking about health care. Things don’t move quickly in health care.
So I called my wife and told her they found a lump and I’m going for an ultrasound. I’m sure, at this point, it’s just a minor playground injury, retaliation for pulling the pigtails of Sue O'Brien one too many times in ninth grade… I go in to the appointment for the ultrasound, hoping I can bad mouth Sue O'Brien later.
The tech comes out and…she’s kind of pretty. So then I’m thinking, “Why can’t they send a troll or some 60 year old dude to take these pictures? I visualize Orcs as she flits around with the sonogram equipment, taking pictures of my boys. She then puts together a disc for me with all of the results, and also sends them to the Doc.
I drive back to work, but my brain is working overtime at this point. I call the doc’s office and let them know I got the tests done, and ask if there is anything else I can do.
“No,” says the nurse. “The doctor will call you.” About fifteen minutes later he does…again, that rapid-health-care-spider sense goes into effect.
“Hi. We’d like you to come in for a consultation tomorrow…
“Okay,” I say.
“…with your wife…”
“…and without your child,” he adds. “We have a lot to discuss, and you’re going to have a lot of questions, but we probably don’t want to get into it over the phone.”
At this point, I know the jig is up. "Shoot straight with me doc. What are we dealing with here?”
Well, the short version, so far, is that I’m probably going to lose one of my boys (they’ll never call me RedLefty), and that it’s probably cancer (95% chance, according to most resources) and that it probably hasn’t spread (based on my activity and general health) and that I’ll probably survive (95-99% chance, based on lots of variables).
I have been to lots of sites (ACS, LAF, and, one my wife found which was especially helpful: TCRC). This is the point where I have more questions than answers, but I’m learning, I’m positive, and I’m focused.
An observation: It’s amazing, what happens when someone tells you you probably have cancer. Everything else fades away. You just think cancer thoughts all day long. From the time you hear the word, through every meal, every conversation, every movement, you can hear the word, bouncing around in your head.
Life is filled with ironies, and I’ve always been Irony’s number one fan. Case in point: People in the office were hopeful for the recovery of Barbaro, who was dining al fresco today. “Thank God!” “That’s great.” I was happy, too, but also thinking, “Man, I’m going through this and we’re happy for a horse?” It wasn’t that I wanted them focused on me. I was wondering who else in the office was feeling as bad or worse than I do, and I would have no idea who they were, or what my words at similar times meant to them.
Thanks so much for all of you who have begun encouraging me already, and especially for those of you who have begun prayers. If you’re in that habit, I’d like to ask you to take a moment and pray for my wife, that God gives her strength, especially as she is a teacher and is gearing up for the beginning of the school year, and it’s going to be hard. Also, please pray that I have wisdom as I explain things to my daughter.
I’m going in for my consultation today, around 3 o’clock EDT. I’m thinking if Lance can do it, I can. And hey! Phonak is looking for a rider, so maybe this is my big chance.
So anyway, as I do, I’m going to use this place as an outlet to sort through all of the stuff that’s going on. Many of you know me personally, so I’d ask you to kind of keep things under your hat, for a while...
Thanks for your thoughts and prayers.